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In 2014, Epiris acquired The Original Bowling Company, the UK's largest ten-pin bowling operator, for a total transaction value of £91 million. Funds under the management of Epiris invested £50 million of equity in the deal alongside the management team. In September 2016 the business rebranded as Hollywood Bowl Group.
Hollywood Bowl Group is the UK's largest ten-pin bowling business with 55 bowling centres operating under the Hollywood Bowl, AMF and Bowlplex brands. Hollywood Bowl Group specialises in large, high-quality bowling centres, predominantly located in leisure or retail parks, which offer a complete family entertainment experience with restaurants, licenced bars, and state-of-the-art family games arcades. The company employs over 2,000 team members.
Hollywood Bowl Group is the market leader in an industry which offers excellent growth opportunities. The business has a strong track record of industry outperformance, thanks to an excellent management team and a history of investment-backed growth.
The company’s growth was accelerated by working in partnership with management to expand the capital investment programme, focus on improving yield, and complete the acquisition of Bowlplex.
In December 2015, Hollywood Bowl Group acquired ten-pin bowling operator, Bowlplex. Funds under the management of Epiris invested a further £10 million in the form of a mezzanine loan to help fund the deal. The Bowlplex sites were well-located family bowling centres and their addition was an important step in the growth strategy. Also in December a further £11 million was invested to acquire an interest in Hollywood Bowl’s senior debt at a discount to par.
In September 2016 Hollywood Bowl successfully completed an initial public offering on the main market of the London Stock Exchange which valued the equity and debt investments in the group at £217 million. On admission, funds under the management of Epiris received cash proceeds of £153 million from the sale of its equity investment as well as £22 million from the repayment of two debt instruments, whilst retaining a c.18% of the issued share capital of the company.
In April 2017 the remaining shares were sold with funds under the management of Epiris receiving £40 million. Inclusive of proceeds already received, this equated to a total equity return of 3.9x original cost, an IRR of 92%.
Ten-pin bowling operator